What is RTO and RPO and why should I care? Part One

What is RTO and RPO and why should I care? Part One

What is RTO and RPO and why should I care?

Business has come to rely very heavily on Information Technology (IT) to supply the critical systems that supply the necessary requirements to be able to function. With these dependencies, IT must be certain to provide access to these critical systems and data as quickly as possible so that they business may continue to function.

Recovery Time Objective (RTO) is the period of time within which systems, applications or functions must be recovered after a disaster outage is declared. RTO answers the question: How quickly can I have my systems online and working before it has a major negative impact on business functions?

Recovery Point Objective (RPO) is that point in time to which systems and data must be recovered after an outage. This is generally considered to be acceptable loss of data for a defined period of time; usually the last backup. RPO answers the question: How old can my data backup be before it is no longer acceptable to recover?

Here are some sample recovery levels you might consider as you define your RTOs:

RAPID RECOVERY
RTO < 8 hours
Internal Rapid Recovery
Create replica of application in a separate location
Data is replicated on a near real time basis (RPO ~ 0)
Application is flipped to alternate environment during disaster

HOT
RTO < 72 hours
Internal Hot Site (geographically dispersed data centers)
Production/non-prod placed in different data centers
Media restore to non-prod environment during disaster (RPO <= 48 hours)

VENDOR
RTO < = 72 hours
External Purchased (Vendor) Hot Site
Recovery service vendor supplies data center and hardware
Tape restore to “first to declare” during disaster (RPO <= 48 hours)

WARM
RTO 2 to 8 weeks
Internal Warm Site
Data center space, network, racks, tape drives provisioned
Hardware is provisioned/procured at the time of disaster
Media restore (RPO <= 48 hours)

BEST EFFORT
RTO 1 to 6 months
No predetermined data center, network, infrastructure
Assumes SME’s will figure it out, if an event occurs
No plan, no testing

Part Two tomorrow.

About Jeff Hauser

Solutions-oriented IT Specialist with notable success directing a broad range of corporate IT initiatives while participating in planning and implementation of information security solutions in direct support of business objectives.

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